Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

August 10, 2009

How Do You Add Humor to Your Novel?

Filed under: On Writing — Frank Fiore @ 5:37 PM

Most novels, even serious novels, can benefit by a touch of humor.

Vickie Britton writes “When most people think of humor, they automatically think of jokes or of slapstick scenes such as one of the Three Stooges tripping over a banana peel. There are many kinds of humor. Some more subtle types of humor include clever banter, surprise and irony. Some books are amusing rather than laugh out loud funny. These books usually rely on human nature to provide some lightness rather than pie-in-the-face jokes and one-liners.

For example. In my new novel CyberKill I have two secondary characters that do a lot of bantering with each other. here’s an example.

Seventy feet below the INSCOM building at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia in the Information Warfare Laboratory, Morgan Dallas was munching on his burrito. “It was all just a test,” he groaned, through the masticated meal in his mouth. “Why the hell did they pick five in the morning? I could have been sleeping.”

“Probably to simulate a real-time attack,” said Taylor Chin without looking up, her nose in her laptop computer. “I doubt cyber-terrorists are going to wait until you’ve had your coffee and morning piss.”

“Such language,” said Dallas, grinning. He liked Taylor. A lot. Except the 24-year-old graduate of MIT didn’t know how to show it. There were limitations to being a computer nerd, and being smooth with the ladies was certainly one of them. And Taylor was looking especially cute this morning, with an aqua-colored turtle neck sweater and tight jeans. She was Asian-American, twenty-one, and a specialist in artificial intelligence. Dallas thought that was hot. She also had a boyfriend.

Dallas didn’t think that was so hot.

He sighed silently and poured some more Ass Blaster Hot Sauce over his massive breakfast burrito as the two sat together in their cramped IWL office.

“I heard Senator Howe of the Senate Arms Services Committee ripped him a new asshole,” Taylor said, absently reaching for her iced latte.

“Just wild speculation,” said Dallas. “No one knows for sure. Bartley’s never left his office. Probably in there crying.”

Taylor shrugged. She took another sip from her iced drink.

“How the hell can you drink iced coffee in the morning? Isn’t that a sacrilege?”

“No worse than you eating a burrito for breakfast.”

“It’s called a breakfast burrito.”

“It looks disgusting.”

So how do you add humor to your novels?

Take the poll.

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1 Comment »

  1. I like clever dialogue, but I also enjoy humor that arises from a strange or unusual situation.

    Comment by Rochelle — August 13, 2009 @ 9:05 AM | Reply


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